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VVM Graduates Manufacturing Cohort

SPRINGFIELD — This week, Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) celebrated the graduation of participants in its Massachusetts Manufacturing Accelerator. The graduation ceremony took place at VVM World Headquarters at Tower Square in front of a crowd of nearly 100 friends, supporters, and members of the political and business communities. The Manufacturing Accelerator delivered intensive and immersive training sessions to seven small precision manufacturers over four months to help them identify new revenue streams and connect them with new industries and customers. “This program is unique because it takes startup methodology and applies it to established manufacturers,” said Paul Silva, VVM co-founder. “We encouraged these businesses to boldly question the way they’ve been doing business for decades and discover new markets and opportunities. We’re very excited about the results.” Funding for this program was provided by the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Program administered by MassDevelopment. “The manufacturers who participated in the Massachusetts Manufacturing Accelerator benefited from the creative and thoughtful approach Valley Venture Mentors and its partners took with this program, and MassDevelopment is pleased to support the accelerator with a grant from the Manufacturing Futures Fund,” MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones said. “Congratulations to everyone on this accomplishment, which will help Western Massachusetts’ innovative manufacturing industry continue to grow.” Graduates of the program include BSS Additive, Boulevard Machine & Gear, Decker Machine Works Inc., Mitchell Machine Inc. and Precise Turning and Manufacturing.

Nominees Sought for Ubora, Ahadi Awards

SPRINGFIELD — The African Hall subcommittee of the Springfield Museums is seeking nominations for the 26th annual Ubora Award and the ninth annual Ahadi Youth Award. The African Hall subcommittee is a volunteer group comprised of educators, business people, and community leaders from the African-American community. The nomination deadline for both awards is March 31. The Ubora Award is presented to an African-American adult who has demonstrated a commitment to the Greater Springfield area and exhibited excellence in the fields of community service, education, science, humanities, or the arts. The Swahili word ‘ubora’ means ‘excellence.’ Named for the Swahili word for ‘promise,’ the Ahadi Youth Award is presented to a young African-American who has excelled in academics and performed admirable service to the Greater Springfield community. Eligible candidates must be age 19 or younger, live in or have strong ties to the Greater Springfield area, and be currently enrolled in grades 10, 11, or 12. The Ubora and Ahadi Awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Springfield Museums in September. Nomination forms can be downloaded by visiting For additional information, call (413) 263-6800, ext. 325, or e-mail Valerie Cavagni at [email protected] Nominations may be e-mailed to Cavagni or mailed to African Hall Subcommittee, c/o Valerie Cavagni, Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield, MA 01103.

Nominations Sought for Pynchon Award

SPRINGFIELD — The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts is seeking nominations from throughout Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties for the Pynchon Award, which recognizes citizens of this region who have rendered distinguished service to the community. The Order of William Pynchon was established by the Advertising Club in 1915 to recognize and encourage individuals whose lives and achievements typified the ideals of promoting citizenship and building a better community in Western Mass. Past recipients include war heroes, social activists, teachers, volunteers, philanthropists, historians, clergy, physicians, journalists, public servants, and business leaders. A complete list of recipients since 1915 can be found at To nominate an individual, submit a one-page letter explaining why the nominee should be considered. Include biographical information, outstanding accomplishments, examples of service to the community, organizations he or she is or has been active in, and the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least three people who can further attest to the nominee’s eligibility for induction into the Order of William Pynchon. All nominees will be considered and researched by the Pynchon trustees, comprised of the current and five past presidents of the Advertising Club. Nominations must be submitted by Tuesday, Feb. 28 to William Pynchon Trustees, Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts, P.O. Box 1022, West Springfield, MA 01090-1022, or by e-mail to [email protected] Pynchon medalists are chosen by unanimous decision of the Pynchon trustees. The 2017 recipients will be announced in June, with an awards ceremony scheduled for Oct. 19 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Recipients are presented with a bronze medal cast with the name and likeness of Springfield’s founder, William Pynchon, and bearing the inscription, “They honor us whom we honor.”

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